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Rationality and implementation analysis

Rationality and implementation analysis This paper examines the prospects of developing rational policy processes. The approach taken is to examine two components of policy processes. First, the paper analyses the way in which rationality has been applied to three different models, or modes of public administration: Weberian bureaucracy; market or rational actor political behaviour; and managerialism. The analysis suggests that “rational” approaches to public administration are inherently value‐laden, emphasising norms such as institutional integrity, representation or efficiency. Second, analysis is undertaken of policy implementation which is one phase of the policy process. The paper examines “top‐down”, “bottom‐up”, institutional and statutory‐coherence approaches to policy implementation. Contrasts amongst these competing models of policy implementation reinforce previous findings that there appears to be little prospect of achieving policy rationality because of the inability of the current approaches to policy analysis to enable reconciliation of fundamental normative assumptions underpinning the approaches. The current methods utilised by policy analysts do not appear to be able to provide either the tools or the structures required to achieve instrumental rationality in policy sciences. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Management History (Archive) Emerald Publishing

Rationality and implementation analysis

Journal of Management History (Archive) , Volume 5 (1): 17 – Feb 1, 1999

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1355-252X
DOI
10.1108/13552529910249832
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper examines the prospects of developing rational policy processes. The approach taken is to examine two components of policy processes. First, the paper analyses the way in which rationality has been applied to three different models, or modes of public administration: Weberian bureaucracy; market or rational actor political behaviour; and managerialism. The analysis suggests that “rational” approaches to public administration are inherently value‐laden, emphasising norms such as institutional integrity, representation or efficiency. Second, analysis is undertaken of policy implementation which is one phase of the policy process. The paper examines “top‐down”, “bottom‐up”, institutional and statutory‐coherence approaches to policy implementation. Contrasts amongst these competing models of policy implementation reinforce previous findings that there appears to be little prospect of achieving policy rationality because of the inability of the current approaches to policy analysis to enable reconciliation of fundamental normative assumptions underpinning the approaches. The current methods utilised by policy analysts do not appear to be able to provide either the tools or the structures required to achieve instrumental rationality in policy sciences.

Journal

Journal of Management History (Archive)Emerald Publishing

Published: Feb 1, 1999

Keywords: Administration; Implementation; Policy

References